Julius Africanus (Cont.)The Extant Writings of Julius Africanus. (Cont.)

III. – The Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus. (Cont.)


1. Up to the time of the Olympiads there is no certain history among the Greeks, all things before that date being confused, and in no way consistent with each other. But these Olympiads were thoroughly investigated69 by many, as the Greeks made up the records of their history not according to long spaces, but in periods of four years. For which reason I shall select the most remarkable of the mythical narratives before the time of the first Olympiad, and rapidly run over them. But those after that period, at least those that are notable, I shall take together, Hebrew events in connection with Greek, according to their dates, examining carefully the affairs of the Hebrews, and touching more cursorily on those of the Greeks; and my plan will be as follows: Taking up some single event in Hebrew history synchronous with another in Greek history, and keeping by it as the main subject, subtracting or adding as may seem needful in the narrative, I shall note what Greek or Persian of note, or remarkable personage of any other nationality, flourished at the date of that event in Hebrew history; and thus I may perhaps attain the object which I propose to myself.


2. The most famous exile that befell the Hebrews, then – to wit, when they were led captive by Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon – lasted 70 years, as Jeremias had prophesied. Berosus the Babylonian, moreover, makes mention of Nabuchodonosor. And after the 70 years of captivity, Cyrus became king of the Persians at the time of the 55th Olympiad, as may be ascertained from the Bibliothecae of Diodorus and the histories of Thallus and Castor, and also from Polybius and Phlegon, and others besides these, who have made the Olympiads a subject of study. For the date is a matter of agreement among them all. And Cyrus then, in the first year of his reign, which was the first year of the 55th Olympiad, effected the first partial restoration of the people by the hand of Zorobabel, with whom also was Jesus the son of Josedec, since the period of 70 years was now fulfilled, as is narrated in Esdra the Hebrew historian. The narratives of the beginning of the sovereignty of Cyrus and the end of the captivity accordingly coincide. And thus, according to the reckoning of the Olympiads, there will be found a like harmony of events even to our time. And by following this, we shall also make the other narratives fit in with each other in the same manner.


3. But if the Attic time-reckoning is taken as the standard for affairs prior to these, then from Ogygus, who was believed by them to be an autochthon, in whose time also the first great flood took place in Attica, while Phoroneus reigned over the Argives, as Acusilaus relates, tip to the date of the first Olympiad, from which period the Greeks thought they could fix dates accurately, there are altogether 1020 years; which number both coincides with the above-mentioned, and will be established by what follows. For these things are also recorded by the Athenian70 historians Hellanicus and Phitochorus, who record Attic affairs; and by Castor and Thallus, who record Syrian affairs; and by Diodorus, who writes a universal history in his Bibliothecae; and by Alexander Polyhistor, and by some of our own time, yet more carefully, and71 by all the Attic writers. Whatever narrative of note, therefore, meets us in these 1020 years, shall be given in its proper place.


4. In accordance with this writing, therefore, we affirm that Ogygus, who gave his name to the first flood, and was saved when many perished, lived at the time of the exodus of the people from Egypt along with Moses.72 And this we make out in the following manner. From Ogygus up to the first Olympiad already mentioned, it will be shown that there are 1020 years; and from the first Olympiad to the first year of the 55th, that is the first year of King Cyrus, which was also the end of the captivity, are 217 years. From Ogygus, therefore, to Cyrus are 1237. And if one carries the calculation backwards from the end of the captivity, there are 1237 years. Thus, by analysis, the same period is found to the first year of the exodus of Israel under Moses from Egypt, as from the 55th Olympiad to Ogygus, who founded Eleusis. And from this point we get a more notable beginning for Attic chronography.


5. So much, then, for the period prior to Ogygus. And at his time Moses left Egypt. And we demonstrate in the following manner how reliable is the statement that this happened at that date. From the exodus of Moses up to Cyrus, who reigned after the captivity, are 1237 years. For the remaining years of Moses are 40. The years of Jesus, who led the people after him, are 25; those of the elders, who were judges after Jesus, are 30; those of the judges, whose history is given in the book of Judges, are 490; those of the priests Eli and Samuel are 90; those of the successive kings of the Hebrews are 490. Then come the 70 years of the captivity,73 the last year of which was the first year of the reign of Cyrus, as we have already said.


6. And from Moses, then, to the first Olympiad there are 1020 years, as to the first year of the 55th Olympiad from the same are 1237, in which enumeration the reckoning of the Greeks coincides with us. And after Ogygus, by reason of the vast destruction caused by the flood, the present land of Attica remained without a king up to Cecrops, a period of 189 years. For Philochorus asserts that the Actaeus who is said to have succeeded Ogygus, or whatever other fictitious names are adduced, never existed. And again: From Ogygus, therefore, to Cyrus, says he, the same period is reckoned as from Moses to the same date, viz. 1237 years; and some of the Greeks also record that Moses lived at that same time. Polemo, for instance, in the first book of his Greek History, says: In the time of Apis, son of Phoroneus, a division of the army of the Egyptians left Egypt, and settled in the Palestine called Syrian, not far from Arabia: these are evidently those who were with Moses. And Apion the son of Poseidonius, the most laborious of grammarians, in his book Against the Jews, and in the fourth book of his History, says that in the time of Inachus king of Argos, when Amosis reigned over Egypt, the Jews revolted under the leadership of Moses. And Herodotus also makes mention of this revolt, and of Amosis, in his second book, and in a certain way also of the Jews themselves, reckoning them among the circumcised, and calling them the Assyrians of Palestine, perhaps through Abraham. And Ptolemy the Mendesian, who narrates the history of the Egyptians from the earliest times, gives the same account of all these things; so that among them in general there is no difference worth notice in the chronology.


7. It should be observed, further, that all the legendary accounts which are deemed specially remarkable by the Greeks by reason of their antiquity, are found to belong to a period posterior to Moses; such as their floods and conflagrations, Prometheus, Io, Europa, the Sparti, the abduction of Proserpine, their mysteries, their legislations, the deeds of Dionysus, Perseus, the Argonauts, the Centaurs, the Minotaur, the affairs of Troy, the labours of Hercules, the return of the Heraclidae, the Ionian migration and the Olympiads. And it seemed good to me to give an account especially of the before-noted period of the Attic sovereignty, as I intend to narrate the history of the Greeks side by side with that of the Hebrews. For any one will be able, if he only start from my position, to make out the reckoning equally well with me. Now, in the first year of that period of 1020 years, stretching from Moses and Ogygus to the first Olympiad, the passover and the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt took place, and also in Attica the flood of Ogygus. And that is according to reason. For when the Egyptians were being smitten in the anger of God with hail and storms, it was only to be expected that certain parts of the earth should suffer with them; and, in especial, it was but to be expected that the Athenians should participate in such calamity with the Egyptians, since they were supposed to be a colony from them, as Theopompus alleges in his Tricarenus, and others besides him. The intervening period has been passed by, as no remarkable event is recorded during it among the Greeks. But after 94 years Prometheus arose, according to some, who was fabulously reported to have formed men; for being a wise man, he transformed them from the state of extreme rudeness to culture.



Aeschylus, the son of Agamestor, ruled the Athenians twenty-three years, in whose time Joatham reigned in Jerusalem.

And our canon brings Joatham king of Juda within the first Olympiad.



And Africanus, in the third book of his History, writes: Now the first Olympiad recorded – which, however, was really the fourteenth – was the period when Coroebus was victor;76 at that time Ahaz was in the first year of his reign in Jerusalem. Then in the fourth book he says: It is therefore with the first year of the reign of Ahaz that we have shown the first Olympiad to fall in.


XVI.77 On the Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

1. This passage, therefore, as it stands thus, touches on many marvellous things. At present, however, I shall speak only of those things in it which bear upon chronology, and matters connected therewith. That the passage speaks then of the advent of Christ, who was to manifest Himself after seventy weeks, is evident. For in the Saviour’s time, or from Him, are transgressions abrogated, and sins brought to an end. And through remission, moreover, are iniquities, along with offences, blotted out by expiation; and an everlasting righteousness is preached, different from that which is by the law, and visions and prophecies (are) until John, and the Most Holy is anointed. For before the advent of the Saviour these things were not yet, and were therefore only looked for. And the beginning of the numbers, that is, of the seventy weeks which make up 490 years, the angel instructs us to take from the going forth of the commandment to answer and to build Jerusalem. And this happened in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia. For Nehemiah his cup-bearer besought him, and received the answer that Jerusalem should be built. And the word went forth commanding these things; for up to that time the city was desolate. For when Cyrus, after the seventy years’ captivity, gave free permission to all to return who desired it, some of them under the leadership of Jesus she high priest and Zorobabel, and others after these under the leadership of Esdra, returned, but were prevented at first from building the temple, and from surrounding the city with a wall, on the plea that that had not been commanded.


2. It remained in this position, accordingly, until Nehemiah and the reign of Artaxerxes, and the 115th year of the sovereignty of the Persians. And from the capture of Jerusalem that makes 185 years. And at that time King Artaxerxes gave order that the city should be built; and Nehemiah being despatched, superintended the work, and the street and the surrounding wall were built, as had been prophesied. And reckoning from that point, we make up seventy weeks to the time of Christ. For if we begin to reckon from any other point, and not from this, the periods will not correspond, and very many odd results will meet us. For if we begin the calculation of the seventy weeks from Cyrus and the first restoration, there will be upwards of one hundred years too many, and there will be a larger number if we begin from the day on which the angel gave the prophecy to Daniel, and a much larger number still if we begin from the commencement of the captivity. For we find the sovereignty of the Persians comprising a period of 230 years, and that of the Macedonians extending over 370 years, and from that to the 16th78 year of Tiberius Caesar is a period of about 60 years.


3. It is by calculating from Artaxerxes, therefore, up to the time of Christ that the seventy weeks are made up, according to the numeration of the Jews. For from Nehemiah, who was despatched by Artaxerxes to build Jerusalem in the 115th year of the Persian empire, and the 4th year of the 83d Olympiad, and the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes himself, up to ibis date, which was the second year of the 202d Olympiad, and the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, there are reckoned 475 years, which make 490 according to the Hebrew numeration, as they measure the years by the course of the moon; so that, as is easy to show, their year consists of 354 days, while the solar year has 365¼ days. For the latter exceeds the period of twelve months, according to the moon’s course, by 11¼ days. Hence the Greeks and the Jews insert three intercalary months every 8 years. For 8 times 11¼ days makes up 3 months. Therefore 475 years make 59 periods of 8 years each, and 3 months besides. But since thus there are 3 intercalary months every 8 years, we get thus 15 years minus a few days; and these being added to the 475 years, make up in all the 70 weeks.


XVII.79 On the Fortunes of Hyrcanus and Antigonus, and on Herod, Augustus, Antony, and Cleopatra, in Abstract.

1. Octavius Sebastus, or, as the Romans call him, Augustus, the adopted son of Caius, on returning to Rome from Apollonias in Epirus, where he was educated, possessed himself of the first place in the government. And Antony afterwards obtained the rule of Asia and the districts beyond. In his time the Jews accused Herod; but he put the deputies to death, and restored Herod to his government. Afterwards, however, along with Hyrcanus and Phasaelus his brother, he was driven out, and betook himself in flight to Antony. And as the Jews would not receive him, an obstinate battle took place; and in a short time after, as he had conquered in battle, he also drove out Antigonus, who had returned. And Antigonus fled to Herod the Parthian king, and was restored by the help of his son Pacorus, which help was given on his promising to pay 1000 talents of gold. And Herod then in his turn had to flee, while Phasaelus was slain in battle, and Hyrcanus was surrendered alive to Antigonus. And after cutting off his ears, that he might be disqualified for the priesthood, he gave him to the Parthians to lead into captivity; for he scrupled to put him to death, as he was a relation of his own. And Herod, on his expulsion, betook himself first to Malichus king of the Arabians; and when he did not receive him, through fear of the Parthians, he went away to Alexandria to Cleopatra. That was the 185th Olympiad. Cleopatra having put to death her brother, who was her consort in the government, and being then summoned by Antony to Cilicia to make her defence, committed the care of the sovereignty to Herod; and as he requested that he should not be entrusted with anything until he was restored to his own government80 she took him with her and went to Antony. And as he was smitten with love for the princess, they despatched Herod to Rome to Octavius Augustus, who, on behalf of Antipater, Herod’s father, and on behalf of Herod himself, and also because Antigonus was established as king by the help of the Parthians, gave a commission to the generals in Palestine and Syria to restore him to his government. And in concert with Sosius he waged war against Antigonus for a long time, and in manifold engagements. At that time also, Josephus, Herod’s brother, died in his command. And Herod coming to Antony81 …


2. For three years they besieged Antigonus, and then brought him alive to Antony. And Antony himself also proclaimed Herod as king, and gave him, in addition, the cities Hippus, Gadara, Gaza, Joppa, Anthedon, and a part of Arabia, Trachonitis, and Auranitis, and Sacia, and Gaulanitis;82 and besides these, also the procuratorship of Syria. Herod was declared king of the Jews by the senate and Octavius Augustus, and reigned 34 years. Antony, when about to go on an expedition against the Parthians, slew Antigonus the king of the Jews, and gave Arabia to Cleopatra; and passing over into the territory of the Parthians, sustained a severe defeat, losing the greater part of his army. That was in the 186th Olympiad. Octavius Augustus led the forces of Italy and all the West against Antony, who refused to return to Rome through fear, on account of his failure in Parthia, and through his love for Cleopatra. And Antony met him with the forces of Asia. Herod, however, like a shrewd fellow, and one who waits upon the powerful, sent a double set of letters, and despatched his army to sea, charging his generals to watch the issue of events. And when the victory was decided, and when Antony, after sustaining two naval defeats, had fled to Egypt along with Cleopatra, they who bore the letters delivered to Augustus those which they had been keeping secretly for Antony. And on Herod falls83 …


3. Cleopatra shut herself up in a mausoleum,84 and made away with herself, employing the wild asp as the instrument of death. At that time Augustus captured Cleopatra’s sons, Helios and Selene,85 on their flight to the Thebaid. Nicopolis was founded opposite Actium, and the games called Actia were instituted. On the capture of Alexandria, Cornelius Gallus was sent as first governor of Egypt, and he destroyed the cities of the Egyptians that refused obedience. up to this time the Lagidae ruled; and the whole duration of the Macedonian empire after the subversion of the Persian power was 298 years. Thus is made up the whole period from the foundation of the Macedonian empire to its subversion in the time of the Ptolemies, and under Cleopatra, the last of these, the date of which event is the 11th year of the monarchy and empire of the Romans, and the 4th year of the 187th Olympiad. Altogether, from Adam 5472 years are reckoned.


4. After the taking of Alexandria the 188th Olympiad began. Herod founded anew the city of the Gabinii,86 the ancient Samaria, and called it Sebaste; and having erected its seaport, the tower of Strato, into a city, he named it Caesarea after the same, and raised in each a temple in honour of Octavius. And afterwards he founded Antipatris in the Lydian plain, so naming it after his father, and settled in it the people about Sebaste, whom he had dispossessed of their land. He founded also other cities; and to the Jews he was severe, but to other nations most urbane.


It was now the 189th Olympiad, which (Olympiad) in the year that had the bissextile day, the 6th day before the Calends of March, – i.e., the 24th of February, – corresponded with the 24th year of the era of Antioch, whereby the year was determined in its proper limits.87


XVIII.88 On the Circumstances Connected with Our Saviour’s Passion and His Life-Giving Resurrection.

1. As to His works severally, and His cures effected upon body and soul, and the mysteries of His doctrine, and the resurrection from the dead, these have been most authoritatively set forth by His disciples and apostles before us. On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour fails on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let that opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye.89 Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth – manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. But it was a darkness induced by God, because the Lord happened then to suffer. And calculation makes out that the period of 70 weeks, as noted in Daniel, is completed at this time.


2. From Artaxerxes, moreover, 70 weeks are reckoned up to the time of Christ, according to the numeration of the Jews. For from Nehemiah, who was sent by Artaxerxes to people Jerusalem, about the 120th year of the Persian empire, and in the 20th year of Artaxerxes himself, and the 4th year of the 83d Olympiad, up to this time, which was the 2d year of the 102d Olympiad, and the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, there are given 475 years, which make 490 Hebrew years, since they measure the years by the lunar month of 29½ days, as may easily be explained, the annual period according to the sun consisting of 365¼ days, while the lunar period of 12 months has 11¼ days less. For which reason the Greeks and the Jews insert three intercalary months every eight years. For 8 times 11¼ days make 3 months. The 475 years, therefore, contain 59 periods of 8 years and three months over: thus, the three intercalary months for every 8 years being added, we get 15 years, and these together with the 475 years make 70 weeks. Let no one now think us unskilled in the calculations of astronomy, when we fix without further ado the number of days at 365¼. For it is not in ignorance of the truth, but rather by reason of exact study,90 that we have stated our opinion so shortly. But let what follows also be presented as in outline91 to those who endeavour to inquire minutely into all things.


3. Each year in the general consists of 365 days; and the space of a day and night being divided into nineteen parts, we have also five of these. And in saying that the year consists of 365¼ days, and there being the five nineteenth parts … to the 475 there are 6¼ days. Furthermore, we find, according to exact computation, that the lunar month has 29½ days….92 And these come to93 a little time. Now it happens that from the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes (as it is given in Ezra among the Hebrews), which, according to the Greeks, was the 4th year of the 80th Olympiad, to the 16th year of Tiberius Caesar, which was the second year of the 102d Olympiad, there are in all the 475 years already noted, which in the Hebrew system make 490 years, as has been previously stated, that is, 70 weeks, by which period the time of Christ’s advent was measured in the announcement made to Daniel by Gabriel. And if any one thinks that the 15 Hebrew years added to the others involve us in an error of 10, nothing at least which cannot be accounted for has been introduced. And the 1½ week which we suppose must be added to make the whole number, meets the question about the 15 years, and removes the difficulty about the time; and that the prophecies are usually put forth in a somewhat symbolic form, is quite evident.


4. As far, then, as is in our power, we have taken the Scripture, I think, correctly; especially seeing that the preceding section about the vision seems to state the whole matter shortly, its first words being, “In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar,” (Dan_8:1) where he prophesies of the subversion of the Persian power by the Greeks, which empires are symbolized in the prophecy under the figures of the rain and the goat respectively. (Dan_8:13, Dan_8:14) “The sacrifice,” he says, “shall be abolished, and the holy places shall he made desolate, so as to be trodden under foot; which things shall be determined within 2300 days.” (Dan_8:13, Dan_8:14) For if we take the day as a month, just as elsewhere in prophecy days are taken as years, and in different places are used in different ways, reducing the period in the same way as has been done above to Hebrew months, we shall find the period fully made out to the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes, from the capture of Jerusalem. For there are given thus 185 years, and one year falls to be added to these – the year in which Nehemiah built the wall of the city. In 186 years, therefore, we find 230 Hebrew months, as 8 years have in addition 3 intercalary months. From Artaxerxes, again, in whose time the command went forth that Jerusalem should be built, there are 70 weeks. These matters, however, we have discussed by themselves, and with greater exactness, in our book On the Weeks and this Prophecy. But I am amazed that the Jews deny that the Lord has yet come, and that the followers of Marcion refuse to admit that His coming was predicted in the prophecies when the Scriptures display the matter so openly to our view. And after something else: The period, then, to the advent of the Lord from Adam and the creation is 5531 years, from which epoch to the 250th Olympiad there are 192 years, as has been shown above.



For we who both know the measure of those words,95 and are not ignorant of the grace of faith, give thanks to the Father96 who has bestowed on us His creatures Jesus Christ the Saviour of all, and our Lord;97 to whom be glory and majesty, with the Holy Spirit, for ever.


IV. – The Passion of St. Symphorosa and Her Seven Sons.98

The text is given from the edition of Ruinart. His preface, which Migne also cites, is as follows: “The narrative of the martyrdom of St. Symphorosa and her seven sons, which we here publish, is ascribed in the MSS. to Julius Africanus, a writer of the highest repute. And it may perhaps have been inserted in his books on Chronography, – a work which Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. vi. 31) testifies to have been written with the greatest care, since in these he detailed the chief events in history from the foundation of the world to the times of the Emperor Heliogabalus. As that work, however, is lost, that this narrative is really to be ascribed to Africanus, I would not venture positively to assert, although at the same time there seems no ground for doubting its genuineness. We print it, moreover, from the editions of Mombritius, Surius, and Cardulus, collated with two Colbert MSS. and one in the library of the Sorbonne. The occasion for the death of these saints was found in the vicinity of that most famous palace which was built by Adrian at his country seat at Tiber, according to Spartianus. For when the emperor gave orders that this palace, which he had built for his pleasure, should be purified by some piacular ceremonies, the priests seized this opportunity for accusing Symphorosa, alleging that the gods would not be satisfied until Symphorosa should either sacrifice to them or be herself sacrificed; which last thing was done by Hadrian, whom, from many others of his deeds, we know to have been exceedingly superstitious, about the year of Christ 120, that is, about the beginning of his reign, at which period indeed, as Dio Cassius observes, that emperor put a great number to death. The memory of these martyrs, moreover, is celebrated in all the most ancient martyrologies, although they assign different days for it. The Roman, along with Notker, fixes their festival for the 18th July, Rabanus for the 21st of the same month, Usuardus and Ado for the 21st June. In the Tiburtine road there still exists the rubbish of an old church, as Aringhi states (Rom. Subter., iv. 17), which was consecrated to God under their name, and which still retains the title, To the Seven Brothers. I have no doubt that it was built in that place to which the pontiffs in the Acta, sec. iv., gave the name, To the Seven Biothanati, i.e., those cut off by a violent death, as Baronius remarks, at the year 138.” So far Ruinart: see also Tillemont, Mem. Eccles., ii. pp. 241 and 595; and the Bollandists, Act. S.S. Funii, vol. iv. p. 350.


1. When Adrian had built a palace, and wished to dedicate it by that wicked ceremonial, and began to seek responses by sacrifices to idols, and to the demons that dwell in idols, they replied,99 and said: “The widow Symphorosa, with her seven sons, wounds us day by day in invoking her God. If she therefore, together with her sons, shall offer sacrifice, we promise to make good all that you ask.” Then Adrian ordered her to be seized, along with her sons, and advised them in courteous terms to consent to consent to offer sacrifice to the idols. To him, however, the blessed Symphorosa answered: “My husband Getulius,100 together with his brother Amantius, when they were tribunes in thy service, suffered different punishments for the name of Christ, rather than consent to sacrifice to idols. and, like good athletes, they overcame thy demons in death. For, rather than be prevailed on, they chose to be beheaded, and suffered death: which death, being endured for the name of Christ, gained them temporal ignominy indeed among men of this earth, but everlasting honour and glory among the angels; and moving now among them, and exhibiting101 trophies of their sufferings, they enjoy eternal life with the King eternal in the heavens.”


2. The Emperor Adrian said to the holy Symphorosa: “Either sacrifice thou along with thy sons to the omnipotent gods, or else I shall cause thee to be sacrificed thyself, together with thy sons.” The blessed Symphorosa answered: “And whence is this great good to me, that I should be deemed worthy along with my sons to be offered as an oblation to God?”102 The Emperor Adrian said: “I shall cause thee to be sacrificed to my gods.” The blessed Symphorosa replied: “Thy gods cannot take me in sacrifice; but if I am burned for the name of Christ, my God, I shall rather consume those demons of thine.” The Emperor Adrian said: “Choose thou one of these alternatives: either sacrifice to my gods, or perish by an evil death.” The blessed Symphorosa replied: “Thou thinkest that my mind can be altered by some kind of terror; whereas I long to rest with my husband Getulius,103 whom thou didst put to death for Christ’s name.” Then the Emperor Adrian ordered her to be led away to the temple of Hercules, and there first to be beaten with blows on the cheek, and afterwards to be suspended by the hair. But when by no argument and by no terror could he divert her from her good resolution, he ordered her to be thrown into the river with a large stone fastened to her neck. And her brother Eugenius, principal of the district of Tiber, picked up her body, and buried it in a suburb of the same city.


3. Then, on another day, the Emperor Adrian ordered all her seven sons to be brought before him in company; and when he had challenged them to sacrifice to idols, and perceived that they yielded by no means to his threats and terrors, he ordered seven stakes to be fixed around the temple of Hercules, and commanded them to be stretched on the blocks there. And he ordered Crescens, the first, to be transfixed in the throat; and Julian, the second, to be stabbed in the breast; and Nemesius, the third, to be struck through the heart; and Primitivus, the fourth, to be wounded in the navel; and Justin, the fifth, to be struck through in the back with a sword; and Stracteus,104 the sixth, to be wounded in the side; and Eugenius, the seventh, to be cleft in twain from the head downwards.


4. The next day again the Emperor Adrian came to the temple of Hercules, and ordered their bodies to be carried off together, and cast into a deep pit; and the pontiffs gave to that place the name, To the Seven Biothanati.105 After these things the persecution ceased for a year and a half, in which period the holy bodies of all the martyrs were honoured, and consigned with all care to tumuli erected for that purpose, and their names are written in the book of life. The natal day, moreover, of the holy martyrs of Christ, the blessed Symphorosa and her seven sons, Crescens, Julian, Nemesius, Primitivus, Justin, Stracteus, and Eugenius, is held on the 18th July. Their bodies rest on the Tiburtine road, at the eighth mile-stone from the city, under the kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.




(Joseph the son of both)

The opinion that Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary was unknown to Christian antiquity. In the fifteenth century it was first propounded by Latin divines to do honour (as they supposed) to the Blessed Virgin. It was first broached by Annius of Viterbo, A.D. 1502. Christian antiquity is agreed that: – 


1. Both genealogies are those of Joseph.


2. That Joseph was the son of Jacob or of Heli, either by adoption, or because Jacob and Heli were either own brothers or half-brothers; so that, – 


3. On the death of one of the brothers, without issue, the surviving brother married his widow, who became the mother of Joseph by this marriage; so that Joseph was reckoned the son of Jacob and the son of Heli.106


4. Joseph and Mary were of the same lineage, but the Hebrews did not reckon descent from the side of the woman. For them St. Luke’s genealogy is the sufficient register of Christ’s royal descent and official claim. St. Luke gives his personal pedigree, ascending to Adam, and identifying Him with the whole human race.



(Conclusion, cap. xix.)

On Jewish genealogies, note Dean Prideaux,107 vol. i. p. 296, and compare Lardner, vol. ii. 129, et alibi. Stillingfleet108 should not be overlooked in what he says of the uncertainties of heathen chronology.

Lardner repeatedly calls our author a “great man;” and his most valuable account,109 digested from divers ancient and modern writers, must be consulted by the student. Let us observe the books of Scripture which his citations attest, and the great value of his attestation of the two genealogies of our Lord. Lardner dates the Letter to Origen110 A.D. 228 or 240, according to divers conjectures of the learned. He concludes with this beautiful tribute: “We may glory in Africanus as a Christian” among those “whose shining abilities rendered them the ornament of the age in which they lived, – men of unspotted characters, giving evident proofs of honesty and integrity.”



The valuable works of Africanus are found in vol. ix. of the Edinburgh edition, mixed up with the spurious Decretals and remnants of preceding volumes. I am unable to make out very clearly who is the translator, but infer that Drs. Roberts and Donaldson should be credited with this work.





68 From Georgia Syncellus, Chron., Third Book. In Euseb., Praepar., x. 40. [Compare vol. 2. pp. 324-334.]

69 ἠκριβῶντο.

70 There is a difficulty in the text; Viger omits “Athenian.”

71 The Latin translator expunges the “and” (καί), and makes it = more careful than all the Attic writers.

72 The original here, as in the same passage above, is corrupt. It gives κατὰ τὴν Αἴγυπτον, which Migne would either omit entirely or replace by ἀπ ̓ Αἰγύπτου.

73 These words are inserted according to Viger’s proposal, as there is a manifest omission in the text.

74 From Georgius Syncellus, Third Book. In the Chron. Paschal., p. 104, ed. Paris, 84 Venet.

75 From Georgius Syncellus, Book III., and from Book IV., in the Chron. Paschal., p. 197, al. 158.

76 The text is, ἀναγραφῆναι δὲ πρώτην τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην, etc.

77 From Book v. In Eusebius, Demonst. Evang., Book VIII. ch. ii. p. 389, etc. The Latin version of this section is by Bernardinus Donatus of Verona. There is also a version by Jerome given in his commentary on Dan_9:24.

78 Jerome in his version gives the 15th (quintum decimum).

79 In Syncellus, p. 307, al. 244.

80 The sense is doubtful here: καὶ ὡς οὐδὲν ἠξίου πιστεύεσθαι ἔστ ̓ ἂν καταχθῇ εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀρχήν, etc.

81 There is a break here in the original.

82 This is according to the rendering of the Latin version.

83 Here again there is a blank in the original.

84 The text is corrupt here. It gives, ἐν τῷ μεσαιολίῳ, a word unknown in Greek. Scaliger reads Μαισαιόλιον. Goarus proposes Μαυσωλαῖον, which we adopt in the translation.

85 i.e., sun and moon.

86 Samaria was so named in reference to its restoration by Gabinius, the proconsul of Syria. See Josephus (Antiq., book xiv. ch. x.), who states that Gabinius traversed Judea, and gave orders for the rebuilding of such towns as he found destroyed; and that in this way Samaria, Azotus, Scythopolis, Antedon, Raphia, Dora, Marissa, and not a few others, were restored.

87 The text is: ἦν Ὀλυμπιὰς ρπθ’, ητις πρὸ ς’ καλανδῶν Μαρτίων κατὰ Ἀντιοχεῖς κδ ̓ ἔτει ἤχθη, δι ̓ ἧς ἐπὶ τῶν ἰδίων ὁρίων ἔστη ὁ ἐνιαυτός. In every fourth year the 24th day of February (= vi. Cal. Mart.) was reckoned twice. There were three different eras of Antioch, of which the one most commonly used began in November 49 B.C. Migne refers the reader to the notes of Goarus on the passage, which we have not seen. The sense of this obscure passage seems to be, that that period formed another fixed point in chronology.

88 In Georgius Syncellus, Chron., p. 322 or 256.

89 εν τι κατὰ τὴν ὄψιν. [Vol. 3. p. 58, Elucid. V., this series.]

90 δια τὴν λεπτολογίαν.

91 Or, on a table; ὡς ἐν γραφῇ.

92 The text in the beginning of this section is hopelessly corrupt. Scaliger declares that neither could he follow these things, nor did the man that dreamt them understand them. We may subjoin the Greek text as it stands in Migne: Μεταξυ δὲ τοῦ λέγειν τὸν ἐνιαυτὸν ἡμερῶν τχε, καὶ τετραμορίου, καὶ τῶν ἀπὸ ιθ ̓ τῆς νυχθημέρου, μερῶν έ … εἱς τὰ υοέ, ἡμέραι τὸ παράλληλον εἰσὶ ς’, καὶ τετραμοριον. Ἑτι γε μὴν τὸν τῆς σελήνης μῆνα κατὰ τὴν ἀκριβῆ λεπτολογίαν σὑρίσκομεν κθ’, καὶ ἡμισείας ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς διαιρεθείσης εἰς μέρη σέ, τούτων τὰ ο, καὶ ημισυ … ἃ γἰνεται ἐννενηκοστοτεταρτα τρία.

93 καταγίνεται.

94 In Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, ch. xxix. § 73; Works, vol. iii. p. 61, edit. Paris. [Elucidation II.]

95 For ῥημάτων, words, three MSS. give ῥητῶν, sayings.

96 For ἡμῖν Πατρί there is another reading, ἡμων πατράσι = to Him who gave to our father.

97 These words, “and our Lord,” are wanting in three MSS.

98 Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, vol. i. Proleg. p. lxxi. and p. 329.

99 See Eusebius, Life of Constantine, ii. 50.

100 The Martyologies celebrate their memory on the 10th June: one of the Colbert MSS. gives Zoticus for Getulius.

101 A Colbert MS. gives “laudantes” = praising.

102 This response, along with the next interrogation, is wanting in the Colbert manuscripts.

103 Sur., Card., and the Colbert Codex give “Zoticus.”

104 The Colbert Codex reads “Extacteus;” Cardulus gives “Stacteus,” by which name he is designated beneath by them all.

105 In one of the Colbert codices, and in another from the Sorbonne, there is a passage inserted here about the death of Adrian, which is said to have happened a little after that of these martyrs.

106 Routh, Reliqu. Sacrae, vol. ii. pp. 233, 339, 341, 355. Compare also vol. 2. 334 and 346, this series.

107 Also on the Seventy Weeks (p. 134, supra), vol. 1. pp. 227-240 and 322.

108 Origines Sacrae, vol. i. pp. 64-120.

109 Works, vol. ii. pp. 457-468.

110 See Introductory Notice, p. 123, note 4, supra.